September 28, 2021

Mousefolk

Race
Comments from the Finger: We're around the last 48 hours or so of Valda's Spire of Secrets! This is the coolest thing we've ever made, it's reached over half a million on Kickstarter, and you should go pledge to it right now!

Mousefolk

"You laughed when I said I would repay you," said the Mouse. "Now you see that even a Mouse can help a Lion."
—Aesop, The Lion and the Mouse

Never to be looked down upon, the slight, unassuming mousefolk are kindhearted to a fault and possess courage greater than most giants.

Tiny But Brave
Though the tiny, big-eared mousefolk are often overlooked by larger creatures, history is brimming with stories of gallant mouse-knights staring down dragons, crossing blades with warlords, and charging into grand battles. It happens that few histories are written about the valor of mousefolk—and many more should be—yet they make appearances in legend all the same, their bravery cementing their place in history.
Even excluding the long and proud history of mouse-knights, few mousefolk are apt to fear either big folk or monsters. Mousefolk are good to their neighbors and rarely pick fights; after all, most folks can be reasoned with. Those who can't be reasoned with, however, should rightly fear mousefolk striking at their knees. Mousefolk do not suffer bullies lightly.

Storytellers and Legend-Keepers
The mousefolk language, Rodentia, has no written form, thus mousefolk preserve their history in story and in song passed from elders to children through the generations. Their oral tradition is rich, filled with stories of grand heroics, shrewd tricks, and swooning romance. Indeed, many mousefolk live to see themselves preserved in the legends of their people, their deeds remembered in a grand epic for the ages.

Hooded or Disgraced
Though ratlings have long abandoned the old ways, a mouseling is never to be seen without a hood. Following ancient tradition, mouselings wear their hoods, which they have sewn themselves, at all times, except in the direst circumstances. A hood is a symbol of wealth and social standing, and is sometimes replaced with hats or other headwear, when appropriate.
Where this tradition originated, none can say, but mouselings hold to it strongly. If one is seen without a hood, it is surely a sign of disgrace and exile, the most personal punishment a village of mouselings can inflict.

Mousefolk Names
Most mousefolk names are derived from Rodentia, the mousefolk language, and are fairly squeaky when pronounced, as a result. 
Male Names. Arven, Blodge, Dunfur, Frisk, Jinoree, Phrenik, Reep, Skapp
Female Names. Beeka, Constance, Juniper, Tess, Romsca, Serena, Wincey

Mousefolk Traits
Slight and swift, you possess the following traits:
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
Age. Mousefolk mature in their teens and live around 80 years.
Alignment. Most mousefolk are neutral good. They tend to be kind-hearted and have deeply-rooted values.
Size. Mouselings stand around 3 feet tall, but appear slightly taller with their large ears, and normally weigh no more than 40 pounds. Ratlings, by contrast, stand almost 4 feet tall, but have much smaller ears. Your size is Small.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
Darkvision. Mousefolk have superior vision in dim light and darkness. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it was bright light, and darkness as if it was dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray. 
Lightfooted. You have proficiency in the Stealth skill.
Scurry. You can move through the space of any hostile creature as if it were difficult terrain.
Squeeze. You suffer no penalty for squeezing into a space that is only large enough for a creature that is one size smaller than you.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common. You can also speak Rodentia, a quiet and squeaky language that has no established written form. Mouselings value the oral tradition highly and only take notes in Common, or using an improvised shorthand that approximates the sounds of Rodentia in Common script.
Subrace. Mousefolk are commonly divided into two subraces: mouselings and ratlings. Choose one of these subraces. 

Mouseling
Mouselings are smaller than their ratling cousins, but are all the more daring. They sport a wide variety of coats, from grey to brown to very rare whites, but all possess large ears and round, black eyes. Though these features often make them look adorable to big folk, most mouselings want nothing more than to be taken seriously. They fancy themselves knights, merchants, minstrels, explorers, and a wide variety of other occupations; only humans rival mouselings for ambition.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
Brave. You have advantage on saving throws you make against being frightened.
Nimble Escape. When a creature you can see makes an opportunity attack against you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll. You can't use this trait when wearing medium or heavy armor.

Ratling
Often, ratlings stand a full foot taller than their mouseling relatives, with longer tails and more pointed ears. They are tougher, more resistant to poison, and far more stubborn than other mousefolk, but are unquestionably resourceful. When needed, a ratling can escape just about any enclosure that isn't constructed entirely from metal and stone, a fact which many jailers hold in contempt.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1.
Gnaw. You can use your action to chew through and break a small nonmagical object that isn't being worn or carried, like a rope, a wooden rod or handle, or a length of fabric. If you chew on a wooden wall or floor for 1 minute, you can gnaw a hole large enough for a Tiny creature. You can't chew through materials that are harder than your teeth, such as metal, stone, or crystals.
Rat Resilience. You have advantage on saving throws against poison, and you have resistance against poison damage.


5 comments:

  1. That is fantastic art. I want to play a brave little mousefolk paladin.

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    1. Moniek's incredible, no? It's a real treat to have her illustrating our work.

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  2. DAngit I missed the kickstarter can i still get this?

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    1. You should be able to get in on the backerkit, which should be available from tomorrow. I expect there will be a blog post about it.

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    2. Okay, the backerkit is up and open to late pledges! Head on over to https://spireofsecrets.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders to preorder a copy if you missed the KS!

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